Labour Party reacts to election boycott threats by state chairmen

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The national leadership of Labour Party (LP) says it’s unperturbed by actions of chairpersons of the party across states.

Earlier on Thursday, chairpersons of the party across states had threatened to withdraw support for the party over alleged non-availability of mobilisation funds.

“We have never been respected by the party leadership and also our presidential candidate has no respect for our party executives at state levels because Peter Obi deliberately mismanaged our goodwill with the imposition of his members and other support groups that decamped with him in May 2022 to our party,” Sani Abdulsalam, Gombe LP chair, said at a media briefing on Thursday.

“Of note, Wednesday, February 22, 2023, was the meeting we had with the national chairman in the party head office where a discussion was held about the logistics support for state chapters and national officers towards effective mobilisation of our members for the presidential and national assembly elections on Saturday.

“To our surprise, the national chairman said the presidential candidate has no confidence in all the 36 state chapters’ leadership but would rather choose to work with their cronies and support group that came with him.

“The greatest shock from the national chairman was that money for agents will not be sent to any state chairman or national officers except those three NWC members including a woman, and that all state chairmen and 19 other members already picked by Mr Peter Obi himself will be given monies meant for party agents and an alert will be received by 10pm, Wednesday, February 22, 2023.

“As of now, no alert has been received by any state chairman and information reaching us confirmed that money was paid based on ethnic and religious consideration because only persons of a particular ethnic group currently run the campaign of Mr Peter Obi in cohort with the national chairman.”

Abdulsalam also said they do not believe Obi can win because he is “not ready and is grossly ill-prepared for the presidential race”.

Reacting to the development, Yunusa Tanko, spokesperson of the LP presidential campaign council, said there is no issue of sidelining as alleged.

He said the party’s focus is on people voting with their conscience rather than expecting money in exchange for support.

“Nobody is boycotting any election because the election is already on. And nobody is sidelining anybody,” he said.

“People are expecting conventional way of politics which is not feasible in our own place. And then the issue of probably mobilisation money for elections, which is what people are used to, and they’re not seeing it.

“Now, there’s no money anywhere on ground. It’s about your conscience and if you believe in a movement. That’s all. Nobody should expect any money from somewhere.

“That’s where the problem is but as far as we are concerned, nothing is stopping us. We are continuing our movement and voting will commence in the next 24 hours. There’s no problem.”

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